I asked on Twitter if anyone had questions about the Tough Mudder so those will be throughout this post. Starting with one from the Tough Mudder account themselves:
A couple weeks ago I ran the Tough Mudder with six other people and I looked over at one of them halfway though after an obstacle and went “I think I just died.” But in all honesty I had a lot of fun. I would definitely do it again and probably will.
If you’ve been following along (I know Luna has been one of my biggest cheerleaders) you’ll know I trained a bit more than normal the months leading up. And if I had to do it again I think I’d keep the same type of schedule. I worked on cardio/ running three times a week and bodyweight strength about three days. I followed the calendar they had on their website for a while (it’s since changed).
While training I got up to 6ish miles and was running about 11 minute miles at that distance. I still couldn’t do a pull-up but I think overall my strength was maybe a 5/10? I did fine. I’d say make sure you’re working out regularly beforehand and have a balanced workout. I know some people who did the 5k said you didn’t have to train for it.
We did the classic which is 8-10 miles and jogged between most of the obstacles. There were some obstacles I found difficult and I still couldn’t run that far. However, I somehow managed to keep up relatively well. The obstacles that were the hardest were pulling up bodyweight because I’ve never been good at that so that’s definitely something to work on. I think if you weren’t planning on running between them you don’t need to do as much training.
I think my favorite obstacle was the Cage Crawl because it was weirdly calming. You basically propel yourself lying on your back along a fence that’s parallel to the ground.
One of my favorite things in my training was doing the monkey bars at the gym because that was something I haven’t been able to do since. I was in elementary school. There were monkey bars on the course. There were also wheels that moved when you grabbed them and hoops. I loved them all. Plus the water was refreshing when you fell.
The hardest obstacle for me was the Texas Hold ‘Em (photo from the Tough Mudder website. I went across with one of my friends and I don’t think we (I) leaned back far enough to counterbalance. We tried holding each other with one hand and then the middle part with our other to keep the balance.
While I increase my training in case we do it next year I have some things I will be changing.
- Ankle weights/ vest: Seriously, so much extra weight while running because of the mud and water. I didn’t take this into account.
- Weight machines: I kind of let this be pushed to the side because my own bodyweight was what would be tested but I feel like I could have gained more muscle going this way at least once a week.
- One more training day: I did try to keep a nice balance of social and training but I also had some days where I didn’t do anything on either side.
- More yoga: I love yoga and I did some yoga each week. But I still cramped up and felt like I needed a little more hip flexibility during the climbing things.
As much as I say it’s just for people’s reactions I thought about doing the Tough Mudder after I finished my Nanodegree last November. I wanted something else to work towards and challenge myself and the gym was something I was doing to destress.
I asked a couple people but no one I thought about asking would do it with me. So when one of my other friends asked I decided to just go for it.